Claudia and Clara wake up together a little past noon.
If I think about what happened on the floor yesterday before evening, they pretty much slept for an entire day.
From what I saw, it wasn’t just the emaciated Clara who was tired from the long trip, but Claudia as well despite the fuss she caused. The maid who checked on them was worried when she saw how long they were sleeping.
With that said, Claudia who appeared from the bedroom is wearing the not-very-luxurious loungewear I prepared.
She didn’t put on any accessories and just lightly tidied her bed hair so I could only see her as a slightly plump woman.
But still, she had an aura around her that made the maid beside me step back instinctively.
Is that what you call ‘a noble’s majesty’?
「There are times I could feel it from Nonna, but Claudia’s in a different class.」
「Ahn, saying something like that makes me so happy.」
She jogs and jumps into my chest.
I catch her firmly as the pressure makes me take a step back.
As I pat Claudia while she buries her face in my chest, I also give some attention to Clara.
The thin Clara is more worrying to me than the jelly-like madam.
Clara grins when she realizes I was looking at her.
「We were able to sleep away the fatigue yesterday, but we’re actually starving.」
「Oh, as much food can be prepared for you as needed. Eat lots. It sounds like your stomach is grumbling too.」
I could hear her stomach growling for a while now.
I did something bad, I should have urged Clara to eat sooner.
「……no, that was the mad-」「Oh my Clara, how unbecoming of you! Let’s hurry to the dining hall.」
The gaze Clara sends to me appears to plead for help, and when I smile back, she pouts.
I don’t know how to describe the atmosphere in the dining hall right now.
Nonna welcomed the madam and Clara just for the sake of form and is glaring at the two of them while Mel doesn’t even intend to hide her feelings.
Catherine, Miti and Maria seem to be purposely showing off their enlarged bellies by rubbing them.
Celia didn’t even take a seat with her to eat, instead standing beside me as a guard and baring her fangs.
I guess Claudia’s disliked by everyone.
「Habh! Hab, habh! Hagh, hagh…… gehoh! Ngogh…… w-water……」1
Claudia either doesn’t realize all the stares or is ignoring all of them as she continues eating.
Regardless, the way she eats is incredible.
She has a refined manner of eating as a noble but her pace is abnormally fast.
Her cheeks don’t even bulge out when she stuffs her mouth…… no, maybe that’s because they’re already round and fat.
Clara also seems to be eating with great momentum, probably because she’s hungry, but doesn’t stand out due to the attention drawn by Claudia beside her.
She appears relieved.
「……she eats like a pig.」
Mel mumbles in a subdued voice.
「Hey…… did she just tear the bread in half and swallow it whole?」
Carla was genuinely surprised.
「There isn’t a moment when her fork stops moving. I’m surprised she hasn’t poked herself with it yet.」
Celia comments in disbelief.
Sebastian was preparing additional portions of meat.
More than the usual 1 kilogram was being prepared.
「Fuu……I think I’ve calmed down for now. Let’s chat a little before the main course comes.」
Bread, salad, soup and steak…… there is no better main course anywhere else.
When I smile wryly, Nonna starts threatening right away.
「My deepest condolences for having to experience the horrors of war…… as well as losing your husband. After resting here in our home, will you be going back to your own home?」
She’s implicitly telling her to go back home.
Mel and Celia also nod in agreement.
「This body which should have perished along with my husband in the flames can no longer shamelessly return home. Now, my only path to continue living is…… to rely on Margrave Hardlett’s mercy and compassion.」
She doesn’t even know if her home is safe.
「T-then how long will you be staying?」
「「Until death comes upon us.」 -I guess.」
Nonna slams her tableware onto the table.
「Tch, you should have obediently died as a burnt pig.」
Mel grumbled and Kuu jerks back in shock.
「Ara, how vulgar.」
Claudia lifts the plate of soup with her palm and drains the liquid within a few seconds.
「In any case, I, as Aegir’s wife, don’t approve of your stay here! It’s already cramped enough as it is without you coming!」
Nonna finally displays her hostile intent for all to see.
「Ara, you have a large and beautiful mansion, don’t you? You can manage to provide a room for Clara and myself at least, can’t you? It’s hard to say but all of you are too seedy-looking and won’t be suitable for the extravagance of the mansion.」
What was said lit a fire under Nonna again.
「Oh, you’ve said it now…… there is nothing to be afraid of with you losing your backing! Shall I throw you in the dungeon?」
「Ara, the wife of the Hardlett household is going to throw two people who escaped and ran from far away into the dungeon? What an uncivilized person. Did you perhaps seduce Aegir-sama with those hot air balloons of yours?」
「This woman! I can’t take it anymore!」
Both parties stand up and glare at each other.
The clattering sound of tableware shattering further heightens the dangerous atmosphere.
If I don’t stop this now, they might start slapping each other.
By the way, Casie was the one responsible for breaking the tableware.
She wasn’t able to withstand the fighting mood and dropped it when she ran out of the dining room in a panic.
「Sorry Mel, you can’t hand over a knife. It’ll become a bloody affair.」
Left with no other choice, I step in between the two of them.
「Nonna, she has also experienced much before running here. She’ll take back her insults so please overlook this.」
「Uuu…… but, that woman……」
Tears well up in Nonna’s eyes as she clings to my chest, then she sticks her tongue out at Claudia.
「Claudia, Nonna is my beloved wife. If you ridicule her, it also upsets me too. We wouldn’t be able to live together if you do that.」
「……I take back my earlier words…… and sincerely apologize.」
Claudia looks enviously at Nonna.
To be honest, I don’t care where they live.
After all, Claudia and Clara have no luggage.
They escaped without carrying much of anything.
「During this time with money to spend, this woman will take my…… ahem, will be leeching off Aegir-sama’s assets!」
Claudia was a prominent noble in the Federation and her reckless spending even made Marquess Malordol unsure of what to do.
If she were to continue her luxurious lifestyle, I wouldn’t be able to support her as I am now.
「You don’t have to worry! Now that I have arrived at the place of my truly beloved man, I will not spend excessively anymore. Besides, I have some savings for my new lifestyle.」
When she said that, Clara, who was eating as if nothing concerned her, stood up quickly and, along with a maid, carried something quite heavy-looking into the room.
「These are jewels……?」
「There are so many of them.」
Just like Celia and Carla said, it was a mountain of jewels.
There are rubies, sapphires, emeralds and jewels I’ve never seen before.
「Ah- awawa…… what large jewels you have.」
Unlike me and Carla and the others who just saw it as a mountain of jewels, Nonna was so amazed that her hips gave out.
「You can hold it and take a closer look if you want.」
Claudia puffs out her chest with pride and places a jewel in Nonna’s hand.
At first, she looked on in frustration and ultimately couldn’t win against the temptation of the jewel.
「This is…… a sapphire? No…… an emerald……」
「Fufufu, I wonder which one.」
I take a peek behind Nonna who is tilting her head in bewilderment.
Apparently, the jewel changed color depending on the angle of light shining through it.
Furthermore, the color would differ when put under the sunlight or a lamp.
「Wonderful. I’ve never seen anything like it.」
I’ve never had a chance to look at many jewels before but one that changes color is pretty interesting.
「Ufufu, it’s the greatest treasure of the Malordol household, which doesn’t really have an exact price attached to it, but is worth more than a single mansion.」
「But is it alright? Your husband’s house is gone…… and this is your last remaining possession, right?」
Nonna treasures her household and the heirloom sword left by her family.
Claudia should not be able to sell the jewel so easily.
「Hohoho! If it’s going to turn into food for my beloved and this child, I have no problem doing so! Let’s sell it right away!」
I have nothing else to say.
I thought she didn’t bring anything with her when she fled here, I wonder where she carried it.
It doesn’t look like she shouldered it on her large back.
「To ensure it wasn’t taken on the way here, I always had it wrapped around my body. I hid it in all the gaps and cracks.」
Nonna who was staring intently at the jewel suddenly stopped moving.
「All of this……?」
It sounds like she carried more weight in jewels than Clara could carry for the entire grueling journey.
The body under her clothes must look incredible.
After that, Nonna was so immersed with the jewels that the atmosphere relaxed.
Mel still looked like she had mixed feelings, but she couldn’t just act independently.
The sisters Kuu and Ruu are desperately trying to hold her back too.
Sensing the change in mood, Casie also returned.
Now let’s resume eating.
「That’s right Claudia, we actually have an exquisite delicacy.」
「Oh my, what can it be?」
I give a signal to Sebastian.
A dried meat was served…… it was the dragon meat I secretly brought back.
Celia and Leah jump out from their seats.
Claudia makes a face like it was not what she expected.
It’s true that jerky is are more of a portable food or a light snack and not something typically served as a main meal.
「Well, just eat it like you were tricked.」
Excluding Celia, Leah and Luna who refused to eat the meat, everyone else takes a bite of the dried meat.
Instantly, everyone’s eyes shoot open.
「Delicious! W-what is this!?」
Nonna also comments in shock, quickly getting ready the next bite.
「Uwah…… I thought the meat of the black beast was good but this is on a different level.」
Carla happily gets second helpings.
Even Alice who doesn’t usually eat much is greedily devouring the meat.
It’s good to be gluttonous.
「We’ve had enough of it.」
「It kind of created some bad memories.」
Celia and Leah won’t eat.
It’s kind of a waste, knowing how tasty it is.
「It’s soooooo gooooood!!」
The scream came from Claudia.
The deliciousness of the meat made her lose herself and yell.
Oil and meat chunks get sprayed out of her mouth and travels in an arc onto Mel.
「Mom, stop it! She didn’t have any bad intentions!」
「You’re in front of Aegir-san! You’re in the mansion!」
Mel is making a face I’ve never seen before and trying to stand up while her two daughters are doing their best to suppress her.
Claudia doesn’t pay any attention to that while furiously shoveling the meat down her throat.
The other girls are also vigorously eating the meat and the dragon meat I brought back disappears in no time at all.
「Aah, that was good. I wanted to eat more though.」
「Yeah, me too. I feel like I could eat this meat forever.」
Nonna has eaten her fill and seems to have calmed down.
As for Mel who is visibly displaying her bloodlust, I’ll embrace her once after the meal and calm her down.
However, there was one woman who couldn’t accept the fact that there was no more meat.
It was Claudia.
「T-there’s no more?」
「Sorry. It was a delicacy after all. We can’t normally get stuff like that.」
I feel a little bad when Claudia slumps over dejectedly.
She didn’t even make this expression when talking about her destroyed house and her dead husband.
「More of the other dishes have been prepared. Fill yourself up with plenty of nourishment.」
When plates of meat, soup and pasta are placed in front of Claudia, a smile returns to her face.
Thirty Minutes Later.
「Aegir-sama, I’m in a bad mood here.」
「Me too…… a little impossible for me to bear.」
「What an idiot, that pig.」
Nonna, Carla and Mel are beside me looking at that thing while drinking their after-meal tea.
It goes without saying ‘that thing’ is Claudia.
She hasn’t finished eating yet.
Rather, she’s still eating as if the dragon meat seems to have induced more hunger.
「……that steak is close to 500 grams, right? She’s swallowing it whole.」
I’ve asked Lammy before whether she swallows things whole like a snake.
「Don’t be stupid. I have teeth and besides, my top half is that of a human so I can’t even do it.」
That’s what she replied but she seems to be mistaken.
Humans can swallow things whole.
「Hey, doesn’t it look like she’s getting fatter? Her entire body is inflating.」
Claudia’s appearance clearly looks different now than from before she ate.
It looks like she’s still getting bigger.
「I get that her stomach is getting bigger from eating too much…… but why are her thighs and arms getting bigger too?」
「Because she’s a pig.」
Mel remains cold to the end.
Claudia was in a horrible state after she finished eating.
It was like arms, legs and a head grew out from a lump of excess fat…….
There won’t be much clothes that’ll fit her so she had to wear the clothes she traveled in after getting them washed.
「Aah, madam…… you went back to how you were.」
「She doesn’t have a neck.」
「But she can move surprisingly quickly.」
I like women who are a little on the plump side.
They’re soft and adorable.
But I wouldn’t submerge myself in boiling water just because I like hot baths.
「What is it, my love?」
「There are things in this world called limits. I think it would be a good idea for you to do some exercise tomorrow.」
On a side note, Clara was also hiding in the shadow of the enlarged Claudia and eating enthusiastically.
She’s looking healthier now.
「Well, time to open the window slightly and lower the heat of the furnace. It feels hotter in here all of a sudden.」
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 23 years old. Winter. Changes Only.
Family: Nonna (cautious), Carla (concubine), Mel (intent to kill), Casie (ghost, full), Sebastian (burnt)
Claudia (meatball), Clara (female attendant)
Non-humans: Alraune (growing)
Assets: 35,820 gold (food expense -20)
Sexual Partners: 288, children who have been born: 54 + 555 fish
- Nat: she’s taking bites of food, coughing, then choking. ↩